Chinese company of engineers arrive In Sudan to support joint United Nations-African Union mission in South Darfur
17 July 2008 - A company of 172 Chinese engineers arrived today in Nyala in South Darfur to join the joint United Nations-African
Union peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) in Sudan's troubled western region.
The Chinese contingent will work primarily on the completion of a camp in Nyala and will expand other UNAMID camps in
Darfur, providing the infrastructure and facilities that will allow more peacekeepers to deploy. They bring the total
number of Chinese engineers in Darfur to 315 and the total number of UNAMID forces to 8,000.
UNAMID's Joint Special Representative Rodolphe Adada said that deployment was the priority for the mission. "We are
accelerating our deployment. We are building the strength of the mission so we can protect more personnel and more
Darfurians and continue to implement our mandate," he said.
UNAMID Force Commander General Martin Luther Agwai had previously emphasised the lack of engineering capacity as one of
the principal constraints delaying deployment of more peacekeepers to the currently under-manned mission.
"Every commander wants the resources to fulfill his assignment," he said. "For me it's a very special day because what
we need most is the engineering capacity to build and expand our camps to allow us to increase the numbers of our
The Chinese company of engineers includes bridge and road-building detachments, construction and installation units,
maintenance and support teams, and well-drilling specialists. Apart from their work on the camp in Nyala and other
UNAMID bases, the engineers will also assist local communities in Darfur with Quick Impact Projects, such as
The UN is aiming to deploy 80 per cent of a total contingent of 26,000 troops and police officers by the end of the
UNAMID also reports that in the past 24 hours, peacekeepers conducted 21 security and confidence-building patrols in the
region and humanitarian activities are ongoing as well.
In addition, the mission says the investigation is still ongoing into yesterday's shooting death of a UNAMID
peacekeeper. The killing comes just one week after seven blue helmets with the mission were slain in an attack in North
Meanwhile, from Khartoum, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) reports that the withdrawal of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF)
and Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) forces from Abyei continues, with UNMIS monitoring.
This is in line with the joint plan unveiled by the Sudanese Government of National Unity's main parties to resolve
their dispute over the situation in the oil-rich area around Abyei, which lies close to the boundary between the north
and south of the country.
Both parties agreed at yesterday's Area Joint Military Committee to complete withdrawal by 30 July.